The Election Commission on Tuesday ordered the delisting of 86 registered unrecognised political parties it found to be “non-existent” and declared 253 others “inactive”, it said in a statement.
The commission, comprising Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar and Election Commissioner Anup Chandra Pandey, acted against the 253 parties based on reports by Chief Electoral Officers of Bihar, Delhi, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh.
“These 253 [parties] have been declared inactive, as they have not responded to the letter/notice delivered to them and have not contested a single election either to the General Assembly of a State or the Parliament Election 2014 and 2019,” the EC said. Among these were at least 14 from Tamil Nadu, 34 from Uttar Pradesh, 33 from Delhi, nine from Telangana and six from Karnataka.
The 86 parties that were deleted from the list of registered parties were found to be non-existent after a physical check by the respective CEOs or based on report of undelivered letters or notices, the EC said.
With the latest decision, the EC has taken action against 537 such parties since May 25.
The 253 parties declared inactive had not complied with the statutory requirements “of more than 16 compliance steps since 2015 and are continuing to default,” the EC said. The parties that have been declared inactive would not be eligible to avail benefits under the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968, which allows parties to apply for a common symbol for its candidates.
Sixty six of the 253 parties had applied for a common symbol for its candidates, but did not contest the respective elections, the EC said.
“It is pertinent to note that privilege of a common symbol is given to registered unrecognised political parties (RUPP) based on an undertaking to put up at least five per cent of the total candidates with regard to said Legislative Assembly election of a State. Possibility of such parties occupying the available pre-election political space by taking benefits of admissible entitlements without contesting elections cannot be ruled out. This also tends to crowd out the political parties actually contesting elections and also creating confusing situation for the voters,” the EC said.